Orchestras in the United States are increasingly run on a corporate model. Musicians may have some say in things but ultimately executives and a board call the shots. The Berlin Phil does it differently: 123 members elect their nominal boss. Several prominent conductors including Daniel Barenboim and Maris Jansons said they were not in the running. Others including Gustavo Dudamel re-upped with their current orchestras, presumably taking themselves out of contention. Christian Thieleman and Andris Nelsons were among the rumored frontrunners of those remaining.
This vote has been eagerly anticipated since Simon Rattle announced his departure some time ago and was to have been resolved today. And there was no result. A post on the BPO’s website states the process went for eleven hours with no clear decision and that they’re going to stew on it for another year. Any decision would have been controversial including this postponement. The internal discussions are undoubtedly rife with politics but this is one of the world’s premier orchestras. They need to get it right and they’re going to take the time to hash it out. A little glimmer of democracy in an otherwise autocratic business. That’s why it’s called deliberation.
No decision yet on successor to Simon Rattle
No result following election for new chief conductor
The voting for the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker brought no results today. Orchestra Board member Peter Riegelbauer said: “After an orchestra assembly which lasted 11 hours, we have unfortunately come to no decision. There were positive and lively discussions and several rounds of voting, but unfortunately we were unable to agree on a conductor.”
123 members of the orchestra who were eligible to vote were present. Riegelbauer continued: “We must continue this process and this election. That will have to take place within one year. We are very confident that we will come to a decision then. The process of this election will be continued, and the orchestra assembly will meet regularly, but we will take the time that is necessary. That can last one year.” The mood during the assembly was described by all participants as very constructive, cooperative and friendly.